An especially brutal Girl Group challenge spurred almost everyone to up their performing game, but the interpersonal drama took center stage and we think the elimination is going to shake some grudges loose and get them out in the open.
We got a good old-fashioned “Ru plugging a product” mini-challenge based on her upcoming autobiography, where each of the queens had to get in quick drag and pose for their own autobios.
Here is the photographer, in case you couldn’t pick him out of the earlier shots.
Anyway, it was a cute challenge that yielded some funny results. Sapphira took the win.
As the girls split up into teams, the grudges against Jane’s constant stream of bitchiness took over the Werk Room, with pretty much everyone admitting to her that she’s giving everyone reason to dislike her. She pulled the usual “I’ve got to keep it real” line that seems like a reality TV cliche at this point. We don’t mind a shady queen at all, but there’s something so overtly “I’m doing this for camera time” about Jane’s approach that it feels a little tired. Still, the producers must have loved the confrontations, because they didn’t even bother showing the girls recording their tracks.
Team Q.D.S.M. did fairly okay for themselves. The choreo struck as very basic point-and-walk, but Sapphira’s a great performer and we suspect she helped elevate Morphine and Dawn to her level. Q’s singing was okay, but she stomped all over that stage like a horse doing math.
Team Lovah Girls also did pretty great, although their standout performer was Amanda. She was delivering the goods, but her drag looked pretty bad. To be fair, we didn’t think Jane’s look was anything more than basic, but the judges loved it. Plasma really broke out this week, delivering the looks and the performance while showing she’s more than a mid-century cabaret diva. Xunami’s look was gorgeous and she exuded a confidence she’d been lacking up till now.
Team Thicc & Stick might just have benefitted from low expectations, but they were the pleasant surprise of the night. Their overall competence and the smoothness of the performance allowed them to stand out without some of the spotlight-grabbing of the other groups. They worked as a team and they mostly handed the reins over to Nymphia once they realized that her clownery was hiding a real talent for performing. The other girls clocked how much she’s been playing the game without their knowing, so it should be interesting to see how they treat her going forward, especially if she pulls her goofy clown act in the Werk Room again.
The runway category was a reference to a nearly 60-year-old film (of course) which all of the queens interpreted in the widest imaginable ways. It actually took us a second to realize the theme wasn’t cats, but pussycat wigs.
Sapphira’s Dr. Evil was inspired and gorgeous. It had just the right level of exaggeration and ridiculousness to make it drag. Morphine’s look struck us as slightly overdesigned. It didn’t need the Catwoman patchwork stitching, but it was a gorgeous look. Q’s runway can’t ever be questioned, even if her girl group costume was piss-poor. She’s got skills and this is beautiful. Dawn’s look is fantastically original, but we’re glad Michelle called out the overuse of the elf ears, especially since a closeup showed them to be pretty raggedy.
Pretend Plasma isn’t standing just offscreen, but her Hermes look was truly inspired and we’re happy to be surprised at the level of her drag, which we originally considered to be limited. We’ll have a bit more to say about Amanda’s oddball choice in a minute, but we’ll just note here that the dress should have been a dramatic gown that looked like it was made out of twigs and straw. Drag that shit up, girl. They’re looking for drama, not arts and crafts. Xunami’s look could have been a mere “pretty lady” look that didn’t feel drag enough, but she lent it a sexy chicness and a slightly androgynous feel. The wig is awful, though. We thought the judges wildly overpraised Jane’s look. Those boots don’t read fetish at all and we don’t quite get why it looks like she’s wearing flesh colored tights over sheer hose. It just looked like a mask and a pair of tits to us.
Congrats to team Thicc & Stick. As for their runway looks, we laughed out loud when Geneva said she was working a flapper look because absolutely nothing from the neck down read flapper. She must not have gotten a chance to tell that to Ru, who might have gotten a little huffy about a queen mixing up her style eras again. Still, it was good drag. Mhi’ya’s was as basic as it gets, She did well in the number, but her drag is due to come in for some critiques soon. Megami’s punk Tinker Bell look was cute, but the major issue with her drag is not that it needs improving, but that she’s so bad at selling it. This needed way more attitude than her somewhat timid approach. Nymphia is a goddess and these other bitches better recognize just how good she is.
We got our first close and well-executed lip sync of the season as the girl with the great looks and the underwhelming performance faced off against the girl with the rough looks and killer performance. They were pretty evenly matched in their efforts and we wouldn’t have held it against Ru if she’d opted to save them both, but it’s too early in the season to be so kindhearted and Amanda simply didn’t show any improvement on the one critique she’s been getting since day one.
It’s hard to justify sending one of the best performers home, but this isn’t RuPaul’s Talent Show, it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, and as much as we love a rough queen whose drag needs improvement, even we can’t defend this look. We’d call it conceptual but the concept doesn’t even make much sense. She’s an egg, with a pair of red lips(?)…hatching…eyes and a nose? She couldn’t even make the jagged edge of the makeup match the edges of the wig, which is the very least you could do to sell a concept like this. We were Amanda supporters, but this was a justifiable elimination.
Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of The Year by NPR is on sale wherever fine books are sold! It’s also available in Italian and Spanish language editions, darlings! Because we’re fabulous on an INTERNATIONAL level.
[Photo Credit: MTV via Tom and Lorenzo]
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